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spudfin
December 9th, 2007, 12:21 AM
I have been a fan of Dr. Kenneth Cooper and his writings for a couple of decades and have been reading an older book of his that reccomends "striking" exercise such as running for aging athletes.(boomers) He contends that as we age we need this sort of exercise to promote bone density. He also suggests higher ratios of weight training to aerobics for the same reason. I have only been swimming for a couple of years now and must say that my body has never felt healthier and more pain free. So, I am reluctant to go back to dealing with all the aches and pains associated with running. So here is my question of you experienced swimmers. Do you complement your swimming with dryland training such as running and lifting? If so how often and what types? Do you think Cooper is correct in asserting the need for weight bearing exercise over non weight bearing activity?

Lots of questions. Just curious about this one.

Regards
Spudfing

ViveBene
December 9th, 2007, 06:15 AM
He contends that as we age we need this sort of exercise to promote bone density. He also suggests higher ratios of weight training to aerobics for the same reason.
Spudfing

Bone density loss occurs naturally with aging unless you do something about it. Docs are pushing back the age at which ppl should focus on weightbearing exercises, now encouraging teenagers to do so as a way of building bone. You don't have to run. Walking, walking with weights, speedwalking, a step class, add weights (as little as 1 to 3 lbs), bicycling (uphill, so you stand on pedals and push down), volleyball, hiking and backpacking, dancing, playing with your kids and the dog in the backyard -- all these things will help preserve and build bone density. Be active on your feet, is the general message. And don't forget the calcium supplementation: 1200 - 1800 mg of essential calcium per day.:agree:

"Striking" I find a bit troubling. Is there evidence that small, repeated shocks (implied in striking) build bone better? I can see that running loads weight more so than walking. But there are many roads to Dublin, and if one's knees are crook, enjoying a fine walk on a snowy day is one of them.

Regards, VB

dorothyrde
December 9th, 2007, 07:32 AM
I don't like to run, but do quite a bit of power walking when the sidewalks are not covered with an inch of ice like they are now. I also do step aerobics, kick boxing, things like that. One of my most favorite toys is a mini-trampoline, which helps keep the jarring out of the joints but gets the heart rate up. I also love weight lifting and have been doing it for 25 years, so hopefully that has helped my bone density.

RecreationalSwimmer
December 9th, 2007, 09:26 AM
I was just listening to this APM podcast, Jane Fonda's legacy:

Back in the 1980's, an aerobics craze swept the country, and millions of American women were inspired to do group exercise classes for the first time.

The fact that Jane Fonda was leading the charge didn't hurt. Everyone believed that nonstop jumping, kicking and running to a throbbing music beat would make you stronger and healthier. The frenzy caught on with Carol Espel. Carol was in New York trying to make a living as an actress, but teaching dance classes on the side. Soon she was teaching aerobics, doing close to 23 classes a week.

It didn't take long before Carol's feet started to hurt, and then her hips, but she kept on going because by then teaching aerobics was her career. It took her four years to admit she was in such pain she needed to see a doctor. At 44, she had her first hip replacement, then several years later, the other one. Many doctors today recommend low impact exercises. Carol joins many other victims of the aerobics craze who are now suffering for their enthusiasm.http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_374_Jane_Fondas_Legacy.mp3/view

Everything in moderation :cane:

Ripple
December 9th, 2007, 12:31 PM
I've always been a bit puzzled by this contention that swimming doesn't help bone density because it is supposedly not "resistance" exercise. What kind of swimmers did they test? People who paddle around gently just doing head-up breast stroke, people who swim 3-5 times a week for exercise doing at least two strokes briskly, or people who race and train for it (or just train as if they were going to)? Since water is 880 times denser than air, shouldn't the effort required to move through it require pushing against resistance?

ViveBene
December 9th, 2007, 01:14 PM
I've always been a bit puzzled by this contention that swimming doesn't help bone density because it is supposedly not "resistance" exercise.

The key term is weightbearing.

For analogical purposes, in early days of space flights, people who got back from the moon, where they "weighed less," couldn't even stand up in Earth's gravity. Think of the pool as being like the moon. And you're horizontal in it.

Here's a quick read.
http://ag.arizona.edu/maricopa/fcs/bb/exercise.html

Basically, bone is constantly remodeling, being resorbed and new bone put down. It's a dynamic and uneven process: resorption can occur faster than new bone is put down. Load bearing helps new bone formation, as do resistance and weight training work, which seem to affect certain spots. It seems possible that the resistance of swimming might increase bone mineral density spottily, in arms and wrists. Against that is the reduced gravity effect of the swimming environment. Would be interesting to find out.

Regards, VB

Richard P. Arnold
December 9th, 2007, 01:27 PM
I am 75. I am now, belatedly competing and working out. I marathoned in my forties and fifties. I am lucky to have functional knees and hips but I did permanent damage to the nerves in my feet. If I had it to do over again I would have continued swimming from my school days. I am convinced that movement and aerobic and some anaerobic excersise is the key to fitness. It boggles my mind that I have gotten so much beneficial exercise in the past year and how beautifully swimming has come back after fifty seven years. I would stay with it. I think I am as strong or stronger than when I lifted weights before re-starting swimming and I am capable of sustaining much more effort in a pool.

Richard P. Arnold
December 9th, 2007, 01:31 PM
By the way I began to follow Kenneth Cooper in the sixties. I think, probably, exercise physiology has advanced considerably since he espoused his theories. As an old pilot I would say water provides a hell of a lot more resistance for bone density than a space vacuum.

ViveBene
December 9th, 2007, 01:50 PM
It boggles my mind that I have gotten so much beneficial exercise in the past year and how beautifully swimming has come back after fifty seven years. I would stay with it. I think I am as strong or stronger than when I lifted weights before re-starting swimming and I am capable of sustaining much more effort in a pool.

Great that you are back to enjoying swimming again! :applaud:

It's my impression that swimmers in general, as active people, are probably getting an adequate amount of weightbearing work: walking between car and pool (especially that nice long walk to get to the Pentagon pool!), running to catch a train, climbing up or down stairs to the shower, walking on beach sand, carrying the child, and so forth. It all adds up. A touch of equipment work to improve the kick...

I did a quick check on Google for "striking exercises" and basically turned up martial arts -- punching and the Asian arts of discipline.

Regards, VB

ALM
December 9th, 2007, 05:39 PM
Do you think Cooper is correct in asserting the need for weight bearing exercise over non weight bearing activity?

I found out a couple of years ago that I have very poor bone density for my age. Since then I have done tons of reading on osteoporosis.

Weight bearing exercise is necessary to build and maintain bone density. "Weight bearing" means, "working against gravity." This includes many activities, with the notable exception of two: swimming and bicycling. (Bicycling is considered non-weight-bearing because you are seated.)

Dr. Cooper is right that there is some evidence that higher-impact activities are more effective. But as you pointed out, the risks of injury are much higher. And in all the articles and books that I have read, the experts recommend the lower-impact activities for that very reason.

Another interesting discovery is that vibration, such as that from a vibrating platform, may have a positive effect on bone density. There is one product already on the market in response to that - it's called the Power Plate (http://us.powerplate.com/EN/).

Keep in mind that weight-bearing activity can include things like mowing the lawn and gardening (especially if you do a lot of digging and hauling bags of topsoil around).

In my case I was fortunate to see a nationally-known osteoporosis specialist. One of the things she recommended for me was 30 minutes of weight-bearing exercise, 5 times per week. To meet that goal I try to lift weights 3 times a week and do all my own yard work (and snow shoveling this time of year).

Anna Lea

Ripple
December 10th, 2007, 02:23 PM
The key term is weightbearing.

For analogical purposes, in early days of space flights, people who got back from the moon, where they "weighed less," couldn't even stand up in Earth's gravity. Think of the pool as being like the moon. And you're horizontal in it...


I guess gardening qualifies then. I'll put up with the weight room in winter, but forking over the composter and dipping big metal watering cans in the rain barrel out in the sun (vitamin D) is much more satifying.

art_z
December 10th, 2007, 04:01 PM
even though you are still horizontal, and suspended, each flip turn you do should be the same effect as a jump. If I do 20k a week in the pool, thats 800 laps, thats 799 turns. If I am working the walls hard, which try to whenever possible, I can feel it in my knees and ankles. You want to blast off the wall like you are trying to dunk a basketball, not push off like you are getting out of bed. The resistance of the water should be comparable to the resistance of gravity.

Personally, I hate running. I do it in the summer on occassion or when we go on vacation to the shore as running on the boardwalk in the morning is a great experience, but the beating my ankles and knees take as well as my lower back is just not worth the potential benefits.

Mighty Minnow
December 10th, 2007, 04:18 PM
Another interesting discovery is that vibration, such as that from a vibrating platform, may have a positive effect on bone density. There is one product already on the market in response to that - it's called the Power Plate (http://us.powerplate.com/EN/).


Anna Lea

hmmm......vibrating platform bed? Conjures interesting pictures....

hofffam
December 10th, 2007, 04:18 PM
I was just about the comment on the value of the push off a wall on both the start of a swim and the turns.

A 3000 yd SCY workout includes 3000/25 = 120 25 yd. lengths. So it seems we might be doing the equivalent of 120 weight bearing leg presses in 3000 yds. of swimming. Not as much weight bearing as on land, but non-trivial.

Allen Stark
December 12th, 2007, 08:34 PM
As far as I know there has been only one study on "real" swimming and bone density.It was done in the 80s(published 1988 I believe) on Masters Swimmers at the Nats in Portland and showed that Masters Swimmers have very good bone density.All the other studies I've seen don't deal with competitive level swimming or are just speculation.

Al Black
December 21st, 2007, 06:52 PM
I've started doing some gym work to complement my swimming sets.

After a warm-up of 10 mins on an elliptical cross-trainer, 10 minutes rowing and 10 minutes on an odd device consisting of hand-cranks driving a paddle-wheel in water I then do either a strength or stamina set.

Both sets follow the same basic exercises, the strength set is higher weight and lower rep than the stamina set.

Shoulder Press (3 x 10 on strength set, 3 x 20 stamina)
Lats Pull-Down
Next few exercises are on cables machine:
Single-arm crossover
Internal rotation (set handle at chest height, take load with straight arms out in front, rotate from hips and shoulders to lift weight max height)
Single arm tricep push down
Single arm press

Dumbbells for bench press (allows greater stretch than barbell)

Warm down, stretch out, shower, relax, collapse!

Did that for 6 weeks (3 times a week, 2 strength, 1 stamina), tapering towards competition.

Smashed a pb for 200m freestyle which had stood for 6 years (took 1.5 seconds off)!

Works for me!

I think the fact that even though the gym instructor is half my age I beat him by 10 minutes in a sprint triathlon has helped with sorting out a programme which aids swim-specific muscle sets!

I certainly feel stronger and fitter than before I started the gym work.

Al.

rtodd
December 21st, 2007, 07:41 PM
FYI,

The cross section of a pitchers throwing arm bones compared to the now throwing arm is profound. There is no striking there, only tremendous bending stresses. I would submit there there is similar benefit in swimmers arms.

I think the leg bone density of swimmers may suffer compared to runners.

Maybe moral of the story is cross training.